Leaning to the GF1

photographworks

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I am taking the opportunity to introduce myself. First thing is that I don't have a 4/3 camera. I am currently shooting a Nikon D700 and a Nikon D60. I have used a couple of compacts, the one I enjoyed best being the Nikon P5100.

I use the D60 with a fixed 35mm AF-S f1.8 lens, and that is the smallest combination I have used thus far that gives me good image quality. I like the colors and tonal gradations from the D700 better than any camera I have ever owned, so in my own mind I have something against which to measure camera performance.

I am planning a longish trip and want to carry something smaller than the D60 - hence my interest here. At the moment I am leaning to the GF1. I was thinking about the 20mm lens but after seeing this shot from you Amin, the 7-14mm looks a good bet. Which camera did you use?

______________________________________________

Note from Amin: Moved this post from the "Welcome to mu-43.com" thread to its own thread here and added the thread title.
 

Amin Sabet

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I am taking the opportunity to introduce myself. First thing is that I don't have a 4/3 camera. I am currently shooting a Nikon D700 and a Nikon D60. I have used a couple of compacts, the one I enjoyed best being the Nikon P5100.

I use the D60 with a fixed 35mm AF-S f1.8 lens, and that is the smallest combination I have used thus far that gives me good image quality. I like the colors and tonal gradations from the D700 better than any camera I have ever owned, so in my own mind I have something against which to measure camera performance.

I am planning a longish trip and want to carry something smaller than the D60 - hence my interest here. At the moment I am leaning to the GF1. I was thinking about the 20mm lens but after seeing this shot from you Amin, the 7-14mm looks a good bet. Which camera did you use?
Hi Photographworks, and welcome to mu-43! I previously had a Nikon D700 kit and D5000 with AFS 35/1.8. I ended up selling them after I got my :43: gear. To be sure, the D700 image quality was superior, and the D5000 image quality was also better than that of the :43: bodies, but I valued the smaller size and lighter weight of the :43: kit, and the image quality was good enough that didn't find justification for maintaining two systems. To answer your question, I used the GH1 for that shot but find image quality to be in the same ballpark with my G1.

While both are very good lenses, I find that I prefer the image quality from the Lumix 20/1.7 to that of the AFS 35/1.8, the latter producing bokeh with color fringing (partially addressed by Capture NX2) and more harsh characteristics in my experience. On the other hand, I really liked the AFS 10-24, which was a better performer with a greater focal length range than the Lumix 7-14. The Lumix is much smaller, though, and goes a bit wider, especially in 16:9 mode on the GH1, which is the only :43: that maintains the diagonal angle of view in 16:9.
 

photographworks

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Mju

Amin,

Thank you for your reply.

This is really helping me - and I hope as and when I take the plunge, I can give something back.

Question: When you said images form the G1 "are in the same ballpark" as those from the GI - how big is the 'ballpark'?
 

Amin Sabet

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Glad to be of help! I would say that the ballpark is small indeed. The difference in image quality between the G1 and GH1 is a controversial thing, but it's not enough of a difference to warrant much argument. I believe that the better high ISO performance of the GH1 is mostly due to on-chip noise reduction, baked irreversibly into the RAW. Whatever the reason, GH1 files are a little cleaner at high ISO than G1 files, and there does not appear to be much of a sacrfice in terms of detail. Some claim that even at low ISO, the GH1 files have better image quality, but I don't see it. The GH1 files are prone to banding, though, more so than the G1 files. Therefore, I think image quality isn't better with one camera or the other. They each have their own image challenges.

16:9 aspect ratio is a special case, where the GH1 has a slight image quality advantage because it uses more sensor area than the other :43: bodies at this aspect ratio.
 

eolake

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What you'll sacrifice mostly is the high-ISO performance of the D700. With the current M4/3's, I think you don't wanna go higher than 800, sadly.

But I love them, especially the GF1. It just feels so good and is so responsive.
The same for the wonderful 20mm lens, so sharp, compact, and fast.

I also have a G1, though, and it's nice to have the tiltable screen.
And I do use zoom all the time when I use one.
So, I'd say for flexibility, the G1 with kit zoom. For speed and simplicity and compactness, the GF1 with the 20mm.
 

eolake

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Amin, you really got rid of that great kit? I can't get myself to get rid of any decent camera, I won't even tell you how many I have!!
(But then I don't smoke or drink or go out with loose, uh, pants.)
 

Amin Sabet

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I did indeed. The D700 was the most capable camera I have owned, but I just didn't have that connection with it. I think it was the size/weight (noticeably heavier than the Canon 5D, which was my main camera prior to that), and it didn't help that my favorite lens (85/1.4) had some heft as well.
 

eolake

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Yes, I understand. Patrick from NeutralDay has talked about Connection too, and there's something to it. (Not a bad site his.)
And I have abstained from getting the D700 for the same reason. The 5D is as large as I'm willing to carry, and that's not even for walk-around.
 

photographworks

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I handled a GF1 in a camera shop and shot off a couple of frames in the 16:9 format in jpeg on my SD card. I like what it produced.

I think the sensor long side:short side is 4:3 so presumably setting the camera to capture 4:3 is the way to capture all that the camera is capable of? So setting the capture to 16:9 is really just cropping that could be done post capture. Or is this line of reasoning wrong?
 

photographworks

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Amin, have you shot the EP-1? I am sure both it and the GF1 are capable of producing good images, but in terms of the usability of one compared to the other, are there any things you have discovered that you could share?
 

Amin Sabet

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I think the sensor long side:short side is 4:3 so presumably setting the camera to capture 4:3 is the way to capture all that the camera is capable of? So setting the capture to 16:9 is really just cropping that could be done post capture. Or is this line of reasoning wrong?
You've got it right.
 

Iansky

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Endorsement for GF1

I can endorse what has been said above about the GF1, I purchased mine with the 20mm as a backup (replaced my Canon G10) - I have since added the 14-45mm.
The camera is about the same size as the G10 but that is where the similarity ends, the GF1 is an amazing camera and one I would recommend to anyone wanting a "Carry always" camera that will fit in a coat pocket.
The camera is well made, very fast to focus and write to card and takes superb images - it can produce images of the same quality as some APS-C DSLR's so is a viable option to carry.
I have had mine for a couple of weeks and am using it more than my main camera and always have the GF1 + 20mm with me.
You can see a selection of my GF1 images on my site below:
 
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